Video Games: The New Textbooks

By Stacey Decker — July 30, 2007 1 min read
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Brock Dubbels, a guest blogger on Education Futures, encourages teachers to use video games in classroom instruction. Dubbels, an 8th grade English teacher from Minneapolis, also teaches a course at the University of Minnesota called “Video Games as Tools for Educators.” He believes the latest games, which create rich environments for students to interact with, can be valuable educational tools.

If you are playing as a doctor, you will do the things that doctors do. And as you are acting like a doctor, the game gives you clues to achieve a win-state, in the form of feedback and performance assessment…
The big idea here is that games represent an opportunity to be in a role, doing things that people in those roles do, in places where they do them, and then get assessed in that performance.

Although he says textbooks have a place in the classroom, Dubbels thinks games are better teaching resources because they provide students with a hands-on experience.

Textbooks are great, but limited in what they can present…
We should be moving beyond the static curriculum of textbooks. Games can provide the context and action for our content knowledge in a situated context— [it's] almost as good as being there.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Blogboard blog.